The White Ravens

A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Polish / Poland

Praktyczny pan

(The practical man)

Jędrzejewska-Wróbel, Roksana (text)
Pękalski, Adam (illus.)
Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Bajka, 2016. – [30] p.
ISBN 978-83-65479-07-5

Efficiency  | Performance society  | Cat  | Picture book

White Ravens issue: 2017

Reading age: 3+


In this story, an optimization-obsessed and performance-oriented contemporary man who thinks only in terms of time, usefulness, and effectiveness, gets a cat. The cat is supposed to help prevent his becoming stressed so that his productivity and mental output increase. The “practical man” meticulously plans the acquisition of the feline and reads all the advice guides. But even though the cat is optimally housed, she doesn’t purr and causes even more stress. It’s only when the veterinarian recommends being kind to the cat, to play with her and pet her, that his wished-for result comes about. There can be a point to pointless activity! In her inimitably witty way, Roksana Jędrzejewska-Wróbel (b. 1969) pokes fun at performance society and its offshoots. Adam Pękalski (b. 1975) illustrates the story no less comically, portraying the man as a bourgeois nerd who likes designer furniture and loves all things petty.